Monthly Archives: September, 2004

Photo Philenames

[Original Link] An interesting observation on Engadget about the filenames that cameras use for their photos.

Apples & Happels

I’m in Seattle, staying with my very good friends Hap & C.D. Happel. You might be forgiven for thinking we were Apple enthusiasts, after this view of their kitchen this evening!


[Original Link] This looks like a nice accessory for people using Apple’s iSight camera. And here’s a portable version.

Save My Whiteboard

[Original Link]

I’ve long considered whiteboard images to be valuable documents and have captured them using my digital camera. Usually I then de-skew and tweak them in Photoshop. Since I moved to the Mac I’ve been meaning to write a program to make that process easier. Fortunately, Rob Frohne beat me to it.

Quirky Qwerty

[Original Link] The new Blackberry has an interesting keyboard layout.

The Pen is Mightier than the Lock

[Original Link]

I’m a bit late on this one, but it’s interesting anyway if you haven’t seen it. It turns out that a very large number of high-security bicycle locks are rather easy to pick. And no, it doesn’t require a complex bent bit of spring steel, or a sophisticated skeleton key. Something much easier to come by…

More information also on BikeForums.


[Original Link]

This is a really nice RSS reader for the Mac, which is attractive to look at and makes good use of the Mac user interface. I also like NetNewsWire, but I’m going to try this for a while, mostly because it’s prettier. The fact that I can just drag subscriptions to it from NNW makes it even easier…

Thanks to my pal Phil Ashby for the link

Getting things done

[Original Link]

I’ve spent the last couple of days sorting, tidying and generally getting things in order. Those who know me will tell you that this is a newsworthy item!

It’s inspired, I must confess, by David Allen’s book, “Getting Things Done“. I normally abhor these ‘Self-Improvement’ books, (mostly because I hate to admit that I find some of them useful), but I had started to see quite a few references to this one around the web, not least through Merlin Mann’s 43 Folders blog. Try a Google search on ‘getting things done’ and you’ll see that Allen has definitely put his mark on the phrase. So I went to Amazon, where I noted the rather large number of 5-star ratings in the readers’ reviews. Amazon was sold out, so I went to a UK online bookshop and ordered the book.

Later that evening, John came round and said that he’d been wanting to download the audio version (via iTunes) but couldn’t because it was only available from the US bit of the iTunes Music Store. Rose has a US credit card, so I was able to download it for him, and I’ve been listening to it on my iPod in the car ever since.

Now, here’s the bizarre thing. Despite the book being shipped fairly promptly, the Royal Mail, a poor shadow of it’s former self, has failed to get it to my door yet. However, thanks to my iPod, I’ve already ‘read’ it before it even arrives. Oh, and it gets 5 stars from me, too!

Italian interlude

Just back from a wonderful week in Tuscany. Not long enough.

Irish Jokes

I noticed a sign in town yesterday.

Quinns of Cambridge – the orignal Irish pub

Well, yes.

vi and cursor keys

If you use the vi editor, and you sometimes find that your cursor keys don’t work, then you should read on. Anyone else should go and do something more fun. And we vi users should probably give up on it and use another editor. It is the 21st century, after all.

I often have this problem, and it’s generally when I’m ssh-ed into a remote Linux box, which is the main time I use vi. The problem is that the machine at the far end has the wrong idea of what type of terminal you have. In my case, it tends to think that I’m on an ‘xterm’ or an ‘xterm-color’, which I’m not, but that’s what the Terminal app on my Mac is configured to look like, and the value gets carried through to the other end.

The best thing seems to be to set the terminal type to ‘linux’ on the remote machine. There are several ways to do this:

  • You can set it at the local end for the ssh process:
    TERM=linux ssh me@remotemachine
    and the value should be carried across.
  • You can set it in the environment at the remote end, eg.:
    export TERM=linux
    vi filename
  • You can set it in vi, once you discover things aren’t working:
    :set term=linux
  • You can put set term=linux in your .vimrc file at the far end. This seems to me to be the most useful if you hit the problem regularly.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser